Martin finishes strongly at New Zealand open

A two-under par final round has helped Bendigo golfer Andrew Martin climb to a respectable tie for 33rd at the New Zealand Open.

Martin came home in a rush with three birdies in his final four holes to record his lowest round of the event – 70 off the stick – at Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch yesterday.

He finished the tournament at four-over par, 11 strokes behind New South Wales’ amateur winner Jake Higginbottom.

Fellow Bendigo golfers Heath Reed and Kris Mueck were five shots behind Martin, tied for 56th, at nine-over par.

Martin will be disappointed with his third round of five-over 77 which hampered the former Neangar Park golfer’s top-10 prospects after solid opening rounds of par 72 and one-over. 

While he couldn’t erase the third round score completely yesterday, Martin rebounded well after bogeying two of his opening three holes to get back to two-under for the round.

After an opening day 70, Mueck couldn’t break par in the final three rounds with scores of two-over, seven-over and two-over.

His final round yesterday began solidly enough with only one bogey, on the sixth, in the front nine, but he had a more up and down return to the clubhouse.

The Axedale golfer bogeyed the 10th, 15th and 18th while carding birdies on the 12th and 17th.

Like Mueck, now Queensland-based golfer Heath Reed was under par on the opening day, but finished over the card on his final three rounds.

Reed was one-under through eight holes yesterday, before a double-bogey on the par three ninth. 

The former Marong golfer got back to even with two birdies and a bogey in his next four holes, but a bogey and a double-bogey on the 17th and 18th saw Reed record a three-over 75.

The next major event for Bendigo’s golfers is the Australian Open at the Lakes Golf Course in Sydney beginning December 6.